The thrill of the Build-Outs continues this week with a look at Proud Hound Coffee of Cincinnati, Ohio.
As told to Sprudge by Israel Jones.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
6717 Montgomery Rd. is home to the roastery and cafe/kitchen. Located in a 4,000-square-foot former warehouse, you will be immersed in a clean, inviting, and eclectic color palette. 45 seats include bar seating, single community table, banquette and table seating, window bar seating, and in-view seating surrounding the island kitchen. Inclusivity includes a handicap wheelchair lift, high chairs for infants, and diaper changing station located in one of the restrooms.
A 24-parking-space lot is located diagonally across the street from the cafe entrance. Current demolition in an accompanying space will result in an outdoor patio and lounge space. Future operations include a horseshoe drive curbside pickup for online ordering.
The kitchen will operate in the morning and early afternoon offering a breakfast/brunch menu. Head chef Kierstin Dudley has curated an exciting take on a southern fare/fusion themed menu sourcing from local distributers, farms, markets, and gardens. Menu and nuance specials will rotate seasonally; options will accommodate vegetarian/vegan and gluten free diets. Future goals include opportunity for evening/late night kitchen activated pop-ups, collaborations, and ticketed events.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Proud Hound brews coffee that we enjoy, always keeping in mind our clientele. The spectrum of coffee ranges from approachable to experimental. Our goal is to provide unique, delicious, and ever growing varieties of coffee, while informing you on the livelihood, stories, and pay of the international farmers behind the crop. We roast to connect you to our world: from the people in other countries who grow it to your neighbors who drink it.
Our staff excels in bringing exceptional training that grows and maintains a level of relationship and professional skill to the specialty coffee industry. We believe that no information, craft, or practice should be exclusively owned by any professional in the industry. Open-handed service and reliability is a dedicated application we seek to bring in our intentional products and accountable education; building longevity and trust in relationship with our customers and partners.
Part of this promise includes feedback, accountability, and practice. Over the years it has become aware to us that not enough financial information is available for coffee consumers. We've committed to annual business Transparency Reports. This data is meant to celebrate the land, co-ops, and farmers whose livelihood is coffee. Assurance of fair wages is important, and in a commodity world, undervalued. In being vulnerable about the expenditure that is involved with the exporting, importing, and purchasing of green and roasted coffee, you have an opportunity to not only taste from these origins, but experience the hands that have been elemental in the process of your cup.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
The cafe bar is equipped with a “Proud Hound” LED glass-plated custom colored Sanremo Cafe Racer. The right bar wing displays two Marco SP9 brewers for an intentional and educational viewing experience. A Mahlkönig EK43 accompanied with Titus Single Dosers with RDT and SSP burrs will serve for Marco brewer and espresso dosing.
Roasting takes place on a Loring S15 Falcon.
How is your project considering sustainability?
Upcoming full solar program for cafe space, including solar/battery for mobile espresso truck. GoZero partnership includes a community compost program. The Loring S15 Falcon roaster produces low emissions. Coffee bag recycle program through Savor Brands. All to-go cafe cups are recyclable. Steeped Instant Coffee is fully compostable.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
BHDP Architecture for building/cafe design. Neonworks created the outdoor neon sign. Ink & Hammer assisted with the neon sign casing buildout, multiple paint additions to building, and mobile espresso truck body paint. Bootleg Sign Co. produced a beautiful mural in our front seating wing of the cafe. Sediment Design built the bar/kitchen menu. Wolf Bomb Creative Co. is responsible for our brand identity and multiple merchandise items. SLC Services built our banquettes, tables, bar millwork, and installed quartz bar top. Grand Rapid Chair Co., Industry West, and Allermuir all produced seating that will be throughout the cafe.